Sunday, 6 April 2014

Book Review: 'The Red Knight' by Miles Cameron

Note from the reviewer: After the Malice review David tracked me down to my lair at Sharpe Towers – trekking through a maze of Oracle manuals, six nations programming, theories on the Blacklist and the occasional beer to  ask me for another review.  So here we go...)

As I said in a previous review – 2013 was a great year for books, one of which was The Red Knight by Miles Cameron.  The book follows a band of mercenaries commanded by the Red Knight as they ride to garrison a fortress in a Middle Age English world.

 Sounds simple, like it’s been done before.  Well don’t be it hasn’t… and it’s bloody and brilliant (I put the and in as I am polite).

Bloody in that Miles Cameron is a re-enactor and he writes battles be they one on one or a cavalry charge against infantry very realistically and people die, some suddenly some bloody.

Brilliant in that it combines multiple POV’s in a believable world, with multiple believable magic systems – well a first glance they are different.

The book has a great cast of characters, where Miles got the some of the names from I have no idea. – There’s the Red Knight, Sauce, Bad Tom, Wilful Murder and Mr Smythe.

The “villain” of the book would be sympathetic if he wasn’t so pompous – his reasoning will, I am sure, be expanded in further books  the other “villainous” character Jean d'Vrailly, the self-styled "greatest knight in the world – must be the most obnoxious man in the Fantasy genre at the minute.  So much so that you want the Red Knight or Bad Tom to introduce him to Mr Slap.

 At over 600 pages this is a hefty book, so don’t expect action all the way, Miles has paced it just right as there are lulls in between the various skirmishes for both the characters and the readers to catch their breath.

Then at the very end of the book – BAM – Miles expands the plot and you realise that all is not what it seems and that there are other things going on and the red Knight will be a very busy chap.

I have two complaints about this book – firstly the editing is a bit shaky, bad grammar the company going west when the map says east.  Secondly the character of the Queen of Alba doesn’t really do a lot – but I am hoping that gets rectified in future novels.

All in all a great start to what I hope will be a future classic series.

And lastly !!!!!!!

Lachan for Aa  (read the book you’ll understand).

Rob Sharpe when not writing Oracle IT code is a keen reader. 
Rob first started of with Tolkien, Donaldson and Eddings before moving on heroic fantasy  - especially Brirsh heroic fantasy and the late great David Gemmell. 
Rob can be found, if you can track him down, busy reading books by John Gwynne, James Barclay, Joe Abercrombie, Anthony Ryan, Richard K Morgan, GRRM, Miles Cameron and a host of others.

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